Uncategorized The Technology and Tool Ecosystem of Link Building

July 24, 2020by Colin Gacek
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Link building is an entire industry in itself. It involves researching, writing, and outreach. Building valuable backlinks is complex and best done by a team of people, not just one individual.

With so much to consider and so many separate elements in a good link building campaign, using the right tools can make the difference between a half-hearted effort and real results.

Because link building is important for website rankings, you’ll find many tools on offer. Not all are necessary, and some are better than others. 

Here’s what we like and what we think any link builder could benefit from using.

The Steps in a Link Building Campaign

If you’re new to link building, an overview of what it involves will help you understand why having the right tools is essential. 

This is a multi-step process:

  1.   Create a high-quality, linkable asset—an evergreen article, a tutorial, a blog, an infographic—to target for link building.
  2.   Find prospects, the pages, or people who may link to your site or page.
  3.   Review those sites to determine which are best for your campaign.
  4.   Reach out to those pages.
  5.   Follow up on outreach, place links, and analyze the results to make changes as needed.

Throughout these steps there are sub-steps: you may need to backtrack and try a step again, or you may hit roadblocks and get rejected. 

To manage each step, and the entire process, it’s important to stay organized, to have a plan, and to use the right tools and technology to implement it.

Automation in Link Building Tools


When done correctly, with results, link building is a time-consuming process. To go through all the above steps individually, without any type of automated tool, takes time. 

For one person and a few pages, it’s doable, but anywhere you can make the process more efficient with automation, the better.

None of the link building tools available right now are fully automated. Even with the best tools, it’s necessary to go through all the steps. 

Some, however, can be made easier and a little faster with some degree of automation.

Finding link opportunities can be semi-automated. For example, in Ahrefs you can set up alerts that will notify you when it finds a mention of your brand or keyword. 

PureLinq’s Linq Tool for prospecting sites gathers valuable data and metrics from SEO tools like Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, Moz, etc. This drastically reduces the time spent on prospecting sites for link building campaigns.

Outreach tools also provide a good opportunity to automate. You set up the email campaign and it runs itself, sending emails, tracking responses, and sending out replies.

Computer programs can’t necessarily do everything better than a knowledgeable human. For instance, you can judge when a personalized email will be better than an automated message for an outreach campaign. 

Maybe even a phone call would be best for that really important link. A blend of automation and the human touch will maximize your link building efforts.

The Best Tools for Content Creation

No amount of effort you put into link building will be worth anything without linkable assets and great content. 

The first step of your campaigns should be to ensure you have pages, blogs, articles, and other assets that will draw link interest.

Maybe you already have content but aren’t sure which you should be focusing on for link building. Or, you need to create some new content. 

If you’re stuck for ideas, begin with a couple of handy tools from Ahrefs:

  • Site ExplorerUse this tool to find out the kind of content that is really working for your competitors.

It will provide you with keywords that competitors are ranking for, their pages with the most search traffic, and websites that link to your competitors.

This information shows you the type of content that’s getting link action.

  • Content ExplorerThis is essentially a Google search but with the ability to easily export the results.

Search your topic and use advanced tools to find sites with high traffic, a good domain rating, and significant social media shares.

This information may inspire the kind of content you create for building links.

Another tool that is useful for inspiring your content creation is BuzzSumo. This is a tool designed mostly for content marketing, to help with the creation of linkable content.

It collects all the content currently trending in your industry or niche and helps you determine what topics are catching notice in your target audience.

Also, try Google Trends for similar information. Good content that leads to backlinks needs to be relevant to people and trending, so this is a useful tool. 

As a free tool, it’s a good place to start. Google Trends gives you information on topics including search interest over time, interest by geographic area, related topics, and similar queries.

Visual content is always important in getting links. Readers love to share and link to useful, interesting content that is also highly visual, like videos and infographics. 

Here are some of the best tools for developing these types of content:

  • CanvaThis is one of the most popular visual creation tools because it is easy to use for creating professional-looking graphics. It includes a wide range of templates and stock photos.
  • Infogr.amCreate simple infographics as well as 31 different types of charts.
  • Easel.lyUse this easy interface to make stunning infographics.
  • PixabayPixabay provides one of the best online sources for free stock photos.
  • PicMonkeyUse this tool to photo edit if you have minimal experience.
  • iMovie or Movie MakerEither of these, one for Macs and one for Windows, is a great place to start with making video content. They are easy to use for beginners.

Prospecting Tools to Help Research Target Sites

Great content will naturally lead to links. But to achieve maximum success from a backlink campaign, be selective about the sites that link to you. 

Here are the best tools to help:

  • AhrefsAhrefs is indispensable to many aspects of link building, especially because it is literally the largest index of backlinks.

Find the sites linking to your competitors but not yet to you. These will most likely be good prospects for your links.

  • Moz Link Explorer Moz is right up there with Ahrefs in terms of what it can show you about backlinks.  Put in a competitor site and get all their backlinks.

But that’s not all. You’ll also see information about the potential prospects’ domain authority and the most common anchor text used for the links.

  • Majestic This tool is a good choice if you have a more limited budget. Like other tools, it offers backlink analysis of competitors and analysis of anchor text. It also provides metrics to measure the number of links from high-trust sites. The downside to Majestic is that the user interface is not as good as those of Moz and Ahrefs.
  • BuzzSumoThis is for more than just content creation. It also includes tools to help you find the sites that are likely to want to link to your asset. For instance, the Brand Mentions feature finds pages that mentioned your brand name but hasn’t linked to you yet.
  • URL ProfilerTo get a whole lot of metrics all in one place on URLs of interest, try this tool. Paste in the site URLs and check off the information you want to pull: content analysis and readability, domain authority, social accounts, Ahrefs and Moz reports, and more.
  • Screaming FrogThis is similar to URL Profiler in that it allows you to collect a lot of data on sites in one place. It’s better if you want very granular detail, especially through your Ahrefs account.

Outreach is Easier with the Right Platform

With your research done and list of prospects ready to go, use these tools will make reaching out and actually getting links easier:

  • BuzzStreamThis tool will help you organize and keep track of your outreach campaigns. Track conversations and manage the details across multiple campaigns, all in one place. This is especially useful if you have a team of link builders. Buzzstream also has a lot of features to explore. For example, use the customizable fields to filter prospects, analyze data, or track the relationship with a prospect over time.
  • Hunter.io –  If you just want to get the contact information on sites without using bulk outreach, try Hunter.io. It pulls from multiple sources to get you accurate information quickly and will even verify emails.
  • Pitchbox If the idea of putting together a bulk outreach campaign is daunting, Pitchbox can help. It’s great for ease of use. You can choose from pre-designed campaign types, like blogger outreach. Then, simply follow the steps to complete the campaign and send out the emails.

Performance Analysis Tools to Monitor the Success of Links

You’ve put in all the work; the campaign has led to links; you’re feeling good about it. But how do you know all your effort is paying off? 

Just getting the links you want isn’t enough to call a link building campaign successful.

Measure metrics and monitor your backlinks regularly. Use Google Analytics and Search Console to track organic search traffic in response to link building, for instance. 

These tools can also set up conversion rate tracking so you can monitor sales and other goals for your link building campaign.

Tools like Ahrefs can help you keep very close track of your backlink metrics including the number of referring domains, the number of backlinks, domain rating, organic vs. paid keywords, and more. 

Linkody provides automated monitoring of links. It notifies you when you lose or gain links and if links look spammy, for instance. Majestic provides data on the backlink history of pages and anchor text breakdowns, among many other powerful details.

Tools for Keeping Your Campaign and Team Organized

Working with a team of content creators for a major link building campaign requires some tools to help you stay organized. 

Google Drive is useful for assigning topics to writers or graphic designers, uploading and storing finished pieces, and collaborating.

Project management will keep your campaigns on track and ensure every team member understands their role. 

There are plenty of tools that help with organization, management, and communication. Asana, TeamWork, and Trello are examples of project management tools that can be used for any type of campaign or set of tasks. 

Add team members, limit or grant access, and keep roles and tasks clearly defined.

For example, Trello, allows you to create pages for each project. Invite team members to the page that applies to their roles. You can also communicate responsibilities and attach documents. 

The interface is easy to use and allows you to simply drop and drag cards with tasks and assignments from one list to another, like from assigned to in progress to complete.

Get Started on the Right Foot

A good backlink campaign can be a powerful way to improve your search rankings and conversion rate. But the process has become more complicated. 

Try out these tools, some of the best in the business, to simplify it and improve your link building.

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Rea Martin,

Content Writer

Rea is a Journalism graduate with a passion for writing about technology as well as other topics like business, finance and lifestyle. She has a background in research and working with start-ups and scale-ups, especially in the software and tech sector.

Jacqueline Ochieng,

Content Writer

I am a proficient writer specializing in writing researched articles and academic papers. I have published some of my work in peer-reviewed journals. I am also a market and social research practitioner.

Damilola Esebame,

Content Writer

Damilola is a freelance content writer and a multifaceted gambling expert. When he’s not writing or researching, he spends his time with family and friends, watching sports, swimming, or playing video games.

Olusomi Oduguwa,

Content Writer

When he isn’t writing, you can catch him listening to podcasts or enjoying the game of football.

Nadia Chapman,

Content Writer

Nadia Chapman is a Content Writer at PureLinq. She has a Bachelor of Communication from Griffith University, and currently writes at the crossroads of business and community journalism for local and international clients.

Triston Brewer,

Freelance Content Writer

Triston Brewer is a writer and journalist that has been featured in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Vogue Italia, Washington Post, and other online and print magazines in the U.S. and internationally. Fluent in 4 languages, he is currently working on his fifth book.

Antonio B Callueng Jr

Freelance Content Writer

An experienced educator, content writer, social media advocate, and travel enthusiast.

Trevor Coulombe,

Junior SEO Outreach Specialist

Trevor helps manage comprehensive link-building campaigns for a variety of clients at Purelinq.

Cody Riebe,

SEO Account Manager

Tristan Burgener,

SEO Account Manager

Tristan has been in the SEO industry since 2017. He works directly with our clients to monitor performance, strategy and growth in each of the campaigns.

Jayme Reid,

Business Strategist

I started in SEO sales around 2014 and quickly became the lead salesman at a former company. I started my own SEO company shortly after. My company did well, but I decided to rejoin the corporate world with Purelinq as the first business strategist! I have a pug named Gideon. I love Jesus. I am an outgoing nerd that you can catch playing Magic The Gathering or other intense board games in my spare time.

Satya Pattigilli,

Marketing Outreach Specialist

Satya is skilled in SEO, traditional link building, and has sharp knack when it comes to email marketing techniques and deploying email campaigns.

Fun fact: Satya loves shopping and believes in staying stronger together.

Mike Woellert,

Digital Marketing Manager

Mike Woellert is PureLinq’s digital marketing manager and has several years of digital marketing experience.

Fun fact: Mike is a huge Disney, Star Wars and Marvel movie fanatic.

Richard Cummings,

Product Manager

Richard Cummings has been practicing SEO and online marketing for years.  He has set up, analyzed, and optimized countless websites and always looks forward to new, creative challenges to improve website traffic for clients.

Kristie VanHatten,

Business Administrator

Kristie performs business admin and HR tasks for PureLinq.

Fun fact: Kristie loves shopping!

Kevin Jaskolka,

VP Of Business Development


Angela Moore,

Director Of Operations

Angela began link building in 2007 and quickly became known as the go-to expert in all things offsite marketing. By combining content marketing, traditional link building, and social media, she was able to set clients up with outstanding programs that delivered results in the form of organic rankings and traffic. Angela joined PureLinq as the Director of Operations in October 2020. Fun fact: Angela is an NFL team owner, as she owns stock in the Green Bay Packers.

Kevin Rowe,

Founder / CEO

Kevin Rowe is one of the top innovators in the search marketing industry, developing industry-leading programs for SEO and link building. He has built world-class programs for a range of companies from fortune 100 to Silicon Valley startups. He is a thought leader with his thoughts being published in Search Engine Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, Huffington Post, and Search Engine Land.

Read Kevin’s latest articles on Search Engine Journal.

Kevin’s personal podcast: the Future of SEO

Kaitlin O’Dougherty,

Junior Content Production Specialist

Kaitlin helps manage freelance writer content, putting her BA in Journalism from Mississippi State University to good use. She also has a minor in French, but don’t ask her to speak it.

Fun fact: Kaitlin was a barista for many years and is on a mission to sip the best coffee in every state.

Jon Lightfoot,

VP of Strategy

Jon Lightfoot was founder and CEO of a successful chemical and fragrance company. Upon exiting that role he spent more than a decade agency side and several years brand side wherein he honed robust marketing, strategy and data intelligence acumen. Jon’s strategic marketing initiatives have stewarded healthcare providers, agencies, learning and education based companies, eComm and Fortune 500 companies alike in meeting or exceeding their SEO, branding, performance and audience expansion goals.

Lindsey Sabado,

Content Production Specialist

Lindsey manages the day-to-day management of freelancer writers and editors as well as content production. In addition to holding two BAs in History and English from Binghamton University, she has a Masters in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Fun fact: Lindsey has traveled to 11 countries and it’s on her bucket list to visit every continent.

James Allen,

PureLinq Developer

James is the PureLinq Developer. He is responsible for building and maintaining the client portal.

Fun fact: James lived in Japan for five years.

April Rink,

Senior Content Manager

April’s position at PureLinq has her overseeing all content production, managing a team of freelance writers and editors, and building out our content guidelines. She has an MA in print and digital journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and a BA in Communication Studies and Marketing from Cazenovia College.

Fun fact: April basically runs a zoo with a pet rabbit named Lily and two Australian Shepards named June and Hank; chickens coming soon. She also likes to refurbish furniture in her spare time.

Marcus Larabee,

SEO Strategist

If it needs to get done, Marcus can figure it out. He has worked on e-commerce and lead generation programs for a variety of digital marketing projects. These experiences include SEO, PPC, web analytics, minor development, and email marketing.

Fun fact: Marcus, otherwise known as Larabee Live, is a one-man-band that plays all around Central New York.

Joseph Pineda,

Outreach Specialist

Joseph helps to scale up the PureLinq database through blogger research and outreach. He builds white-hat links for high-value content and pages with niche audiences.

Steven Szeliga,

Senior Outreach Specialist

Steve has over a decade of SEO and link building experience. He focuses on building white-hat links for high-value content and pages with niche audiences.

Colin Gacek,

Senior Outreach Specialist

Colin performs link mining and outreach for PureLinq’s clients and brings a high level of organization to manage a large number of link placements each month.

Fun fact: Colin loves techno music and playing video games.